A diverse group of San Marcos citizens turned out for last year’s MLK Day parade and celebration. This year, the celebration and wreath-laying event will be shared virtually on the DHA Facebook page.
Right, 2020 events included a wreath-laying at the MLK memorial on the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and LBJ. Left, participants marched in a parade downtown. Photos submitted by Jonafa Banbury, Dunbar Heritage Association
Dunbar Heritage Association will host a virtual wreath-laying ceremony on Monday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. The physical event will be filmed earlier in the day, but will be shared online via the Dunbar Heritage Association Facebook page @DunbarHeritage.
Since its inception in 1999, the DHA has come together with multiple San Marcos organizations to commemorate the main Black cultural holidays: MLK Day in January, Black History Month in February, and Juneteenth in June. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the celebration will look a little different than it has in years past, but it will continue to promote the core values that Dr. King hoped to inspire.
This year’s theme is “From Collective Chaos to Common-Unity” which is an ideology inspired by Dr. King’s work
“The goal is to make this year more inclusive than what we had last year,” said Jonafa Banbury, DHA secretary. “In (2020) we had such a high climate of divisiveness. We don’t believe those views are going to go away, but we can choose to deal with each other in a much more civil way.”
Keeping this at heart, the DHA is inviting members of the community to take the Common-Unity pledge, which is a commitment to promoting and modeling specific objectives that “reflect a set of behavioral standards necessary for the advancement of community enrichment.”
“We’re asking city officials, business leaders, individuals, and politicians to take this pledge,” Banbury explained. “In 2021, we pledge to focus on our common unity rather than on what divides us.”
In addition to the wreath-laying ceremony, the event will feature guest speaker Pastor Darius Todd of the Abundant Life Christian Church in Austin, and guest soloist Joshua Banbury will lead the group in a rendition of the Black national anthem, Lift Every Voice. Other singers and choirs will also perform their reflections on Dr. Martin Luther King. The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, the LBJ Museum, Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, the Calaboose Museum, and State Rep. Erin Zweiner will also be present. U. S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett will present a statement to mark the occasion.
To participate in the community-wide pledge, the DHA is asking people to reach out via email at email@example.com or through the organization’s Facebook page. Banbury said, “We would like for people to contact us to sign the pledge, then take a picture and post it to their social media with the CommonUnity hashtag.”
Another way to get involved is to post or share the CommonUnity pledge PDFs or JPEGs on your social media accounts. “If people want to reach out and get involved with us, then we can share the pledge,” Banbury said. “We want to spread this around Hays County and San Marcos so that we can be more conscious about how we engage each other online and in real life.”
In conjunction with the MLK Day wreathlaying, the DHA is selling a limited quantity of CommonUnity t-shirts for $20 via EventBrite at eventbrite.com/e/dunbar-heritage-association-2021-mik-jrt-shirts-commonunity-tickets-135619701177
Funds generated from t-shirt sales will help support future events through the Dunbar Heritage Association.
MLK Day Celebration Virtual event